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Student & Alumni Stories

What do our PhD students and alumni think of the PhD Program in Economics?
"SSE offers everything you need to start your research career. The course programme in Stockholm can compete at the highest international level, funding is generous and guaranteed for the duration of your PhD, supervision is outstanding, and the atmosphere at the school is friendly and collegial."
Thomas Seiler,
PhD Economics alum (2018)

1. What is the attraction of doing research?

I loved the independence and freedom that doing research gave me. As a researcher it is up to you to decide which questions to pursue, how to,  and even when to pursue them. This is a great luxury that I believe can't be found in any other profession. Of course, there are also downsides to doing research: all the freedom can be overwhelming at first and quite often your projects will not work out the way you want them to. However, there is nothing that can compare to the joy you'll experience when things do work out.

2. Why choose SSE if you want to become a researcher? 

SSE offers everything you need to start your research career. The course programme in Stockholm can compete at the highest international level, funding is generous and guaranteed for the duration of your PhD, supervision is outstanding, and the atmosphere at the school is friendly and collegial. Plus: the school is not just internationally very well connected, but also provides you access to the broader Stockholm research community. The latter features a number of high quality seminar series and also allows you to present your work early on during your PhD.

3. What is the best thing about SSE if you are a PhD student?

The best thing about doing a PhD at SSE are your colleagues. There is a tight network among the PhD students in Economics and Finance that will make it easy for you to find new friends and enjoy your time off in Stockholm  

4. What characterizes the PhD education at SSE?

The unique characteristic of SSE is that it combines the benefits of a small place with the advantages of a big international network. This will offer you everything you need to do well im your PhD and your future career.

"High quality of the courses, access to generous research funding, close connections with the faculty, great support from the administrative staff, good IT and office facilities and an outstanding research network are just a few of the winning ingredients in the PhD education at SSE."
Eleonora Freddi,
PhD Economics alum (2017)

1. What is the attraction of doing research?

Research allows you to have a deep understanding of questions you have always been interested in. It gives you the flexibility to work on issues you are most passionate about. And, at the same time, you get equipped with the necessary tools to answer some of the most interesting challenges in our societies.

2. Why choose SSE if you want to become a researcher?

SSE is one of the top business schools in Europe and has a very good reputation worldwide. Needless to say, among the faculty, there are top researchers who give inspiration and motivation for your own research. Exchanges and connections with international scholars provide a wider perspective on the cutting edge research. And last but not least, Stockholm is a beautiful city to live in.

3. What is the best thing about SSE if you are a PhD student?

Doing a PhD is not an easy journey, but at SSE you can get all the resources and opportunities you may need to make this journey less strenuous. Overall, SSE provides a motivating and supportive environment in which you can learn the first steps for excellent research.

4. What characterizes the PhD education at SSE?

High quality of the courses, access to generous research funding, close connections with the faculty, great support from the administrative staff, good IT and office facilities and an outstanding research network are just a few of the winning ingredients in the PhD education at SSE.

"SSE provides a very international, high quality research environment and professors are leading experts in their fields."
Paola Di Casola,
PhD Economics alum (2015)

What is the attraction of doing research?
I am a curious person by nature, so I thought about pursuing a career in research very early. I think researchers have the great privilege of devoting their time to questions they consider relevant. 

Why choose SSE if you want to become a researcher?
SSE provides a very international, high quality research environment. Professors are leading experts in their fields. Funding is generous and allows PhD students to focus on their research.

What is the best thing about SSE if you are a PhD student?
The best thing is the close link with the professors. They have created an environment where you feel free to talk with everybody about your research. PhD students are really considered part of the department, we have many social events to mingle and professors care about our opinions. 

What characterizes the PhD education at SSE?
We have many good courses and can attend seminars on a large variety of topics. As PhD students we have spacious offices close to each other, so we can come to know our peers and their research, but at the same time we have our independent space to work. As for teaching, we are very lucky to be able to teach at BSc, MSc or PhD level, all in English!

"The course-work is very well-organized and streamlined and at the same time broad. SSE's network and collaborations with other universities, allow students to access to a vast palette of options. Expect at least one or two seminars every year held by Nobel laureates that usually devote office hours to discuss PhD students’ research projects."
Damian Migueles Chazarreta,
PhD Economics alum (2011)

1. What is the attraction of doing research?

Research, when you first face it, has no attraction! On the contrary, it shows you how hard and demanding the quest for knowledge can be. But it also tells you that your curiosity and individual capacities and interests are an asset. It will also make you wiser and more humble with every step. Hopefully, at the end of the day, you will have contributed to the world with knowledge.

2. Why choose SSE if you want to become a researcher?

In my PhD thesis I focused on the relation between trade, growth and labor markets. One key prediction was that “too strong” property rights could be detrimental to growth. But also that the expansion of Swedish multinationals has a negative impact on non-routine and interactive tasks in Sweden. After my PhD, however,  I wanted to use my “toolkit” outside the academic world and have been working in forecasting, macroeconomic analysis and tax policy for seven years. SSE alumni are held in very high regard even outside academia due to its tight connections to finance, policymakers and the industry. It is extremely rewarding to use the knowledge your PhD has given you to tackle the most diverse challenges of modern public policymaking.

3. What is the best thing about SSE if you are a PhD student?

The course-work is very well-organized and streamlined and at the same time broad. SSE's network and collaborations with other universities, allow students to access to a vast palette of options. Almost all students in my cohort spent at least one semester abroad at top universities. Seminars and workshops are well-catered for both curious young researchers and policymakers alike. Expect at least one or two seminars every year held by Nobel laureates that usually devote office hours to discuss PhD students’ research projects.

4. What characterizes the PhD education at SSE?

SSE is a relatively small university, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in academic brilliancy of its faculty and a second-to-none international network of researchers. The Swedish kind of way is down-to-earth and horizontal, which encourages the exchange of ideas and interpersonal communication. I still pick up the phone from time to time to ask former professors for advice.

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